Monthly Archives: January 2022

Peek at this Week: Jan 31 – Feb 4

Dear Families

Happy Lunar New Year to our families and friends who celebrate this festival! Chinese new year 2022 year of the tiger 2927080 Vector Art at Vecteezy

Please see the information below in regards to coming events for this week.

 

We have been instructed by Director Notten that CoVid Screening Confirmation needs to continue for the foreseeable future.

  • The screening can be found at: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/
  • Each teacher will communicate with families how they wish to continue with the CoVid Screening Confirmation. We wish to streamline the process for staff and parents alike. Please look for a communication from your child’s homeroom teacher

The Region Waterloo Public Health has partnered with WCDSB and has rented our gymnasium to offer an after-school vaccination clinic on Thursday February 3, 2022 from 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. This clinic is being offered to allow anyone in our community who wishes to receive their first, second, or booster vaccine. Please visit the Region of Waterloo Public Health website for more information at: https://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/health-and-wellness/covid-19-vaccine.aspx

 

LCanada - National Olympic Committee (NOC)astly the Winter Olympics begin on Friday. To join in the celebrations, we are having an Olympics theme day on Friday.  Staff and Students are encouraged to wear Team Canada Wear or colours (red, white & black).

Have a great week and please look for our February Newsletter that will come out later this week!

By |2022-01-30T15:19:35-05:00January 30th, 2022|News|Comments Off on Peek at this Week: Jan 31 – Feb 4

Remote Learning Reminder

Dear Families

A friendly reminder that if you wish your child to be a part of the second round of remote, asynchronous learning, to please notify the office by Friday 3:00 p.m. if you have not already done so.

Thank you

By |2022-01-27T13:27:20-05:00January 27th, 2022|News|Comments Off on Remote Learning Reminder

Anticipated Transportation Service Interruptions

We want to share an important update. Bus operators are now experiencing an increase in driver absences due to COVID-19 isolation.

Although more than 90% of our routes are operating normally, some routes are experiencing more frequent and prolonged delays (50 minutes or greater). As a result, Student Transportation Services of Waterloo Region (STSWR) will need to cancel some routes for a short period of time when driver absences cannot be covered.

This temporary measure will be effective Tuesday, January 25, 2022, until Friday, February 18, 2022. 

STSWR will continue to evaluate this approach to reducing delays and adjust the approach in order to continue to reduce the impact on students, families, and caregivers.

We understand the significant impact this decision will have on our students and their families and caregivers. STSWR does this only as a last resort. We hope that proactively implementing and communicating this course of action will allow families and caregivers to better prepare for and react to the cancellation of bus routes.

What Happens If A School Bus Route is Cancelled?

Effective January 24, 2022, a school bus route will be cancelled if a driver is isolating due to COVID-19 and there are insufficient drivers to cover the isolating driver’s routes.

The duration of the cancellation period will be communicated immediately to affected students and families.

For Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) Students and Families

For students and families in the WCDSB, if a school bus route is cancelled due to a COVID-19 related driver absence, there are three options for families:

  • Where possible, families should find alternative transportation for their students for the 5 to 10 day bus transportation cancellation period.
  • If that is not possible:
    • Students may participate asynchronously remotely by accessing their class Virtual Learning Environment (D2L or Google Classroom) or
    • Students may access asynchronous lessons on TVO and STVLElementary;

Stay Informed

Families will be informed the day prior to any cancellation and cancellation will be posted on the STSWR website with an expected return date.

 

By |2022-01-24T10:16:58-05:00January 24th, 2022|News|Comments Off on Anticipated Transportation Service Interruptions

January 24 – 28 News

Dear Families

We are excited to be back in person for a second week. We wish to share some reminders for this week.

Ontario Daily CoVid Screening Tool

  • All staff and students must complete a daily screening before coming to school: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/
  • Thank you to the parents who are completing the daily screen and documenting it on the paper copy we have sent home. Please check your child’s backpack if you have not seen it yet.
  • Documenting that you have done the Daily CoVid Screening must be done for another week
  • Doing this daily screening daily will easily answer all your questions as to whether or not to send your child to school not only for this week; but for the next little while.

Rapid Antigen Test Kits

  • All students have been given two Rapid Antigen Tests to be used when Covid Symptoms have been observed
  • Instructions on how to use the test kits can be found on School Cash Online.
  • If your child is working remotely, please contact the school and we can arrange for a pick up

Three Ply Masks

  • The three ply masks from the Government of Ontario have arrived.
  • We will be sending them home early this week.

Bell Let’s Talk Day

  • Is on Wednesday January 26, 2022. We have many activities planned for Wednesday.

Second Round of Virtual Option

  • If you wish to switch to or continue online for the weeks of January 31 up until February 11, please inform Mrs. McGlynn at the main office by January 28th.
  • A reminder that this is a two-week commitment. We cannot have families switching back and forth over this period.
  • The Virtual Option offers two check-ins a day and then the students work asynchronously.
  • Students who opt for in-person learning and are sick/in isolation will be marked absent but will have access to posted work and may attend the google classroom meets.

Decades Day: Friday January 28th

  • Student Council has planned this theme day for Friday.
  • They are asking students to wear anything from one item like a top or a hat; doing your hair in a style of the past; or wearing a whole outfit from a decade from the past if you wish.
  • Student Council will provide examples this week over the morning announcements on how easy it can be to participate with items you have around the house.
  • Let’s have some fun and go through our clothes and accessories to see if there is something we can wear on Friday that goes with a decade from the past!

 

By |2022-01-23T10:56:45-05:00January 23rd, 2022|News|Comments Off on January 24 – 28 News

Message from the Minister of Education & Chief Medical Officer of Health

Joint Parents Letter- January 18, 2022-EN

Dear Families

Please click on the above link for a message from the Minister of Education and Chief Medical Officer of Health.

The letter reiterates that students will receive two Rapid Antigen Tests and a three ply mask.  The three ply masks have not arrived yet, but will we distribute them when they do arrive.

Following the explicit instruction of the Minster of Education and The Chief Medical Officer, the Rapid Antigen Tests will be sent home today with every student.  The tests are to used for the students who are home isolating due to having one symptom or more (as previously communicated). Instructions can be found on School Cash Online or you can watch the video below.

Thank-you

 

By |2022-01-19T10:44:00-05:00January 19th, 2022|News|Comments Off on Message from the Minister of Education & Chief Medical Officer of Health

All Busses Delayed

All Busses are delayed.  They have not arrived at school yet.  We are unsure of when they will arrive.

By |2022-01-18T08:49:29-05:00January 18th, 2022|News|Comments Off on All Busses Delayed

Snow Day Today

School is closed and buses are cancelled today due to the inclement weather. Students, check your Google Classroom for asynchronous activities that will be posted by 9:30 am. Make memories, stay safe and see you tomorrow!

By |2022-01-17T07:32:56-05:00January 17th, 2022|News|Comments Off on Snow Day Today

Visual CoVid Symptoms and Guidelines for Students

Visual-COVID-Symptoms-and-Guidelines-for-Students_-Updated-Jan-14-2022

Dear Families

We look forward to a return to in person learning this week. Please click on the above link for a visual guide to help with determining when to stay home or come to school. There are also links for translations of the information in many different languages in the slides.

I also sent out a detailed email on Friday.  If you did not receive it, please check your junk email folder.

Take care and stay safe!

Mr. Petrella

 

By |2022-01-16T16:37:44-05:00January 16th, 2022|News|Comments Off on Visual CoVid Symptoms and Guidelines for Students

January School Re-Opening Letter from Director Notten

January 13th, 2022
Dear Waterloo Catholic Community –

We hope that this letter finds you well. We offer each of you sincere thanks for your collaboration and partnership as we moved student learning virtual over the past 2 weeks. We know it has not been easy and we are grateful to our staff, students and parents alike. As you have no doubt followed in the media, schools will be re-opening to in-person learning beginning on Monday January 17th, 2022. As previously noted, the omicron variant has become the dominant strain of COVID with unprecedented speed and we have seen case counts grow at an exponential rate – faster than any wave before. The good news is that both globally and here in Ontario – the greater majority of all cases are relatively mild and the percentage that lead to serious illness seem to be very few. The approach to how cases are managed and the various safety protocols and strategies are all adapting to our new reality. As a result, the Provincial Government, through the Chief Medical Officer of Health, have updated a number of points of guidance and procedure. This letter provides very important updates about the return to school on Monday January 17th.

Screening:
It is more important than ever before, that anyone feeling ill should not attend school. All children, students, staff, and visitors must be screened for symptoms of illness every day before attending school or childcare. Any student or staff member with any symptom should not report to school. To help meet this requirement, you should use the provincial screening tool found here: COVID-19 school and child care screening tool. Using the screening tool will lead you to the right process for family/household contacts as well. Please use the screener and review your full outcome carefully. Confirmation of self-screening will still be a requirement when we return to school and we will continue to reinforce masking and hand hygiene, as well as cohorting and physical distancing with students and our staff.

Testing:
In Ontario PCR tests are no longer available to staff and students or the general public, so screening for symptoms and treating any symptom as confirmation of omicron is the recommendation. The government is providing 2 rapid tests for each staff person and all elementary students. We hope to also have sufficient supply to share with secondary students, though that supply has not been fully promised by the government. They are to be used when an individual feels symptomatic. Please make a best effort to honour this request. No staff or student should attend school after a positive result. Instructions on their use have been provided by your local school before the break, along with instruction videos in multiple languages. The Rapid Antigen Test will evolve to become the standard for testing in school settings.

Case and Contact Management:
Public Health will no longer support case and contact management for schools. Per the new provincial school guidance, principals will not be routinely notifying the class or school community
when there is a suspected or confirmed positive case in the school. Therefore – if you or your child believe that you are dealing with a case of COVID, (because you have one or more symptom) it is up to you to ensure you/your child remains isolated until the positive case is both symptom free for 24 hours and it has been 5 days since symptom onset for vaccinated individuals (2 vaccines) and 10 days since symptom onset for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals. Household contacts should also isolate for the duration of the isolation of the positive case. We will be monitoring school absenteeism rates and will work with Public Health if concerning thresholds are reached.

Learning Continuity:
We know that many of the doctors and experts believe that the best place for a student is in school and we know that our students and staff have been very pleased to return to in person learning this school year. We do agree that for most students it is where they learn best. As previously shared, we will not be entertaining new requests to switch to St Isidore at this time, as this would necessitate a full re-organization of the system. If a student is in isolation or chooses to learn remotely (which we would generally discourage), we will provide strategies to keep students connected to their core class.
For a limited period of time, during this Omicron surge we will be allowing the option of learning remotely. A student who chooses to do so will be committing for blocks of 2 weeks (10 school days) at a time, with the option to repeat for a 2nd 2-week block. (Potential for a maximum of 4 weeks and we will re-evaluate if this strategy needs to continue beyond the Family Day Weekend.)
While we should be able to accommodate a hybrid (live/synchronous) class in secondary, in elementary that will not be possible. There will be brief check-ins twice a day (early morning and early afternoon) and students will find their work on their class Google or D2L site for their learning. We will offer more updates in the days to come through your local school. For those students that are working remotely this may lead to disruptions in delivery. In this circumstance, students are asked to work asynchronously on preassigned work or on materials posted on their LMS system.

Semester 2:
Throughout the pandemic many staff and students have been keen to return to a full 4 period a day semester model. We now have the support of both the Chief Medical Officer of Health and local Public Health to move back to our traditional model of delivery for our secondary students. Therefore, beginning in February all secondary students will return to a traditional 4 period day.

School Closures:
One of the challenges that will be present in the next short while is managing and maintaining our full staffing levels in our schools. Given the requirement to isolate as a household contact or if symptomatic, we could have high levels of staff absenteeism. We will be monitoring schools on a daily basis, and while it will be a last resort, parents should be aware that on short notice we may have to temporarily close a school or pivot a class to remote due to operational safety concerns.

Masks:
Students will be provided with expanded access to free high quality three-ply cloth masks. We encourage our students to use these masks and to wash them on a regular basis. The use of these specific masks is not mandatory but highly encouraged as they may be more effective than some of the current one- and two-ply cloth masks being used. In addition, the Ministry will also provide education staff with the option to use either the current medical grade masks or a non-fit-tested N95 mask.

Vaccination:
Vaccination for children ages 5 – 11 is currently underway. Booster shots for anyone over 18 years of age continues, and our education staff are currently being prioritized for boosters. Waterloo Region Public Health will soon start operating school based clinics to deliver second doses to interested families. Further the government announced yesterday the intention to sponsor school based clinics during the school day, for parents who have previously given permission for their children to be vaccinated. Vaccination remains the best defence against COVID-19, as endorsed by experts at the Ontario Science table, the Chief Medical Officer of Health and our own Waterloo Region Public Health. The omicron variant is highly transmissible and so consideration for vaccination for yourself and your child is very important in stopping the disease spread and also in ensuring that if COVID is acquired, that symptoms remain mild and manageable. Stopping its spread is important so that everyone can spend more time in school and so the most vulnerable amongst us are not negatively impacted.

Extra-Curriculars:
As previously reported, with the updated guidance from the government, there will be a pause to high contact sports such as basketball and wrestling, as well as to multi-cohort choirs and wind instrument ensembles. We will continue reviewing our Operational Guidelines to ensure they are consistent with all updated guidance from the province and encourage you to review it here. Operational Guidelines

We know that it may be challenging to be navigating these times. We understand that many of you will be concerned and will only want the best for yourself and your children. We encourage you to follow the guidelines as outlined to the best of your ability and to trust that our schools still remain largely safe. I do pray that this will be the last significant hurdle for our community as we navigate this pandemic. We are very grateful for your support and partnership as we do our best to keep our students learning, healthy and engaged. Let us continue to be people of hope that brighter days will lie ahead, and perhaps in the not-too-distant future, the days will be significantly brighter.

Sincerely,
Loretta Notten
Director of Education

By |2022-01-13T13:59:41-05:00January 13th, 2022|News|Comments Off on January School Re-Opening Letter from Director Notten
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